Tuscaloosa Co. OKs same-sex prom couples - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tuscaloosa Co. OKs same-sex prom couples

Elizabeth Garrett Elizabeth Garrett

Students in an Alabama school district will be allowed to take same-sex dates to prom after a student was told she couldn't.

The issue arose when Brookwood High School sophomore Elizabeth Garrett was told by an administrator to remove a sweat shirt with a pro-gay message. The administrator had earlier indicated that same-sex couples could not attend prom together.

A lawyer for the Tuscaloosa County School System school board says the district has never disallowed same-sex couples from attending prom and only clothing dubbed disruptive was prohibited.

A lawyer from Southern Poverty Law Center met with the district and says barring someone from attending prom with a same-sex date and the removal of clothing with pro-gay messages would violate constitutional rights of free speech and equal protection.

"We are happy that the school district has agreed to recognize and support the rights of its LGBT students," said SPLC attorney Sam Wolfe. "Gay and transgender students are entitled to attend prom with a date of their choice just like everyone else."

"Prom is an occasion that most students look forward to," Garrett said.  "I'm happy that I'll get to go to prom for the first time.  Although, I'm not a confrontational person, it was important to stand up for who I am and to speak out for other students."

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